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Coaching the next generation of animators at Cartoon Movie


- Agnès Bizzaro coached a group of students from animation schools to let them in on some production secrets

Coaching the next generation of animators at Cartoon Movie
(© Cartoon)

For the fourth year in a row, Agnès Bizzaro coached a group of students from animation schools at Cartoon Movie on some of the secrets of the production industry. 

About eighty young people from eleven animation schools (including two Belgian) shyly wandered around Cartoon Movie sporting their "coaching program" badges. Their goal for three days: to understand how animation films are financed and to glean some good advice for developing their own projects. 

"Cartoon is very intense for students. It takes almost two days to get them to loosen up, talk about their projects, and to get to know them," reflects Agnès Bizzaro. The first day is dedicated to masterclasses in which producers and directors get involved, talking about themes such as the role of the producer, the importance of making a good pitch, tips to make the most of Cartoon Movie etc. "We sow the seeds at masterclasses... and then after two days of pitches, they know a little more about what to expect when leaving school."

Kevin, Caroline and Alexine – three ESMI final year students – had the chance to take part in the 2018 edition, while other students had to rely on the "Toonie" stage (Cartoon volunteers) in order to enjoy the event. "It's hard to come and talk to people between pitches because it's so big and we get the feeling that everyone knows each other, the professionals get really involved, so we really loved the masterclass in small groups. We don’t learn anything about the production part at school, but now we understand it a little better, even if there is still some business jargon that escaped us somewhat." For these three students, the next step is the validation stage of their degree, "a minimum of two months!" Thanks to their school's partnership with Blue Spirit studios, they are quite confident. And then… Then, "thanks to the relationship we form with graduates, the additional step for those who have projects of their own is the Cartoon Springboard, where they have the opportunity to pitch in front of animation professionals throughout the chain: producers, distributors, TV broadcasters." The Springboard also includes masterclasses.

Agnès Bizzaro understands that production is not necessarily a priority in schools "because students first need to learn creativity, find their style in a bubble." This makes it all the more necessary for industry-oriented training programs. "You have to talk to future artists and graphic artists, production, legal, copyright because these are things that will happen to them!" 

A note for young talents: Twenty-four project holders (feature film, series, single or trans-media) will be selected for the next Cartoon Springboard. It will take place in Valenciennes, from 4 to 6 December 2018, alongside the European Animation Awards (7 December in Lille).

(Translated from French)

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